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Asian Business & Management - Special Issue Call for Papers

  • 1.  Asian Business & Management - Special Issue Call for Papers

    Posted 09-01-2022 20:19
    Asian Business & Management
    Special Issue Call for Papers:
    The Role of Language and Communication in Managing People in Asia
    Asian Business & Management | palgrave

    Guest Editors:

    Ashish Malik, University of Newcastle, Australia

    Ralf Bebenroth, RIEB, Kobe University, Japan

    Satish Kumar, NMIT, Jaipur, India & Swinburne University, Sarawak Campus Malaysia

    Alfred Presbitero, Deakin University, Australia

    The need for scholarship examining the role of language and communication in international business (IB), and especially Asia has attracted significant attention in the last two decades (Lynn, 2006; Sekiguchi, Froese & Iguchi, 2016). The theme of communication and language in IB and how they can be effectively utilized to manage people in an international context including those in global virtual teams has attracted several scholars to contribute to this emerging literature (Presbitero, 2021; Irwin, 2020; Uljin & Kumar, 2000; Tenzer, Terjesen, & Harzing, 2017; Schmidt et al., 2007). For example, Tenzer et al. (2017) highlight the need for language and communication in both local and global contexts. However, there are challenges due to the differences in linguistic relativity. Therefore, we can minimise the adverse impacts of linguistic and communication diversity by employing an interdisciplinary approach to comprehending the complex performative and social impacts of language, communication, and translation issues. Individual-level exploration of the effects of a strong individual human agency in navigating this diversity using personal and social competencies including cultural intelligence (Presbitero & Attar, 2018) has started to emerge but remains to be widely unexplored. For example, how do individuals and groups benefit from developing power structures from their language skills than those who are not expert communicators or foreign-language speakers? How do other individual-level micro-foundations such as personality, moral foundations, and the quality of their psychological resources such as stress, resilience, fatigue and emotional intelligence affect their ability to overcome language-related challenges? Similarly, to what extent and under what incentive conditions do groups extend co-worker and social support to groups that face communication and linguistic challenges? How do such differences impact team self-efficacy, creativity and cohesiveness?

    Further, there is little understanding of how language, communication, and translation affect cross-border and IB management processes. The challenges for firms managing such changes are well documented, yet a paucity of research focuses on the impact of language and communication approaches in IB and their impact on employees and firm performance.

    The focus on micro-foundations of human agency and skills in dealing with inter-linguistic, translation and communication strategies in the Asian context is vital. This is because of the significant growth of Asia over the years as an economic powerhouse. With the experience of COVID-19 pandemic and what lies ahead, it is important to focus on how language and communication can be effectively utilized in this context. Previous research states that leaders and managers' effective communication with their employees directly affects employees' emotional states. For example, a study by Ford, Ford, and D'Amelio (2008) suggests that frequent, truthful, and enthusiastic communication helps to reduce uncertainties among employees, which is critical in global disruptions such as the pandemic. However, researchers have yet to develop more fine-grained ideas, rooted in Asian culture, to explain effective communication and language to support integration processes and coping with external shocks. How language and communication in Asian context, for example, affect the performance and effectiveness of leaders and employees, their affective states, commitment, and social identities is one key area of research.

    A popular strategy of how MNEs deal with language differences and transitions is by implementing a common corporate language (CCL), usually English (Nickerson, 2005). Implementing a CCL does, however, bring its challenges to MNEs in transition (Vaara et al., 2005; Klitmøller, Schneider & Jonson, 2015; Lauring & Klitmøller, 2015). Studies highlight that managers with higher CCL ability are more satisfied, have a stronger commitment and share knowledge with their partners (Peltokorpi, 2015; Yamao & Sekiguchi, 2015). Also, managers with greater cultural sensitivity are more trustworthy and have a stronger commitment to an MNE's operations (Lohtia et al., 2005). However, little research examines the influence of language skills and communication sensitivity on business-oriented outcomes such as firm performance particularly in the Asian context. Therefore, we call for a more quantitative and qualitative examination of language and communication and their predictive impacts on various aspects of MNEs' people and business outcomes (Piekkari, Welch & Welch, 2014; Tenzer, Terjesen & Harzing, 2017; Sharma, Tam, & Wu, 2018) with Asia at the center. Therefore, in this call, we not only would like to elaborate on individual psychological variables affecting performance, justice or commitment, but we also ask for contributions that aim to bring to the fore its impact on firm-level business outcomes particularly in Asia. We are also specifically interested in the experiences of how language and communication matter in Asia's emerging market MNEs (EMNEs). For example, would language and communication differ in Asian EMNEs compared to EMNEs in other parts of the world? Would there also be differences when compared to developed markets? Would there be new theories necessary to explain differences in individual outcomes and firm-level performance?

    We are open to papers that answer a broad set of question about language and communication in the Asian business and management context. We are looking for a range of papers that offer empirical and theoretical contributions through quantitative and qualitative studies to inform and enrich the theoretical advances in Asian business and management. In this special issue, we will publish papers with substantial theoretical, empirical, and methodological contributions. We are open to any type of methodology, including quantitative and qualitative studies, also considering conceptual work and review articles. We welcome examinations of themes such as the ones below. This is by no way an exclusive list but is indicative of the themes we have discussed above:

    • How do communication differences between and within business entities unfold in the Asian context? What are the consequences for workers and organizations?
    • What is the optimal communication level to whom should it be communicated and when to secure maximal outcomes in the Asian context?
    • What are the key adverse impacts of language, communication and translation approaches on individual employees' attitudinal and behavioural outcomes in the Asian context?
    • What strategies do individual employees employ in dealing with foreign language and inter-firm and inter-group communication differences in the Asian context?
    • What support strategies can human resource managers develop to effectively deal with foreign language issues and inter-firm and inter-group communication differences in the Asian context?
    • How do managers and employees of domestic firms or international MNEs operating in a multicultural and multi-linguistic national context deal with foreign language issues and inter-firm and inter-group communication differences in the Asian context? 

     Submission Process

    To be considered for this special issue, final manuscripts must be submitted by 31 January 2023 via https://www.editorialmanager.com/JABM/default.aspx. The submission system will be open from 1st January 2023. To ensure that all manuscripts are correctly identified as being submitted for this special issue, please select 'SI: Language and communication' when you reach the "Article Type" step in the online submission process. Authors should prepare their manuscript according to the guidelines of Asian Business & Management, see: http://www.palgrave.com/gp/journal/41291/authors/presentation-formatting.

    Submitted papers will be reviewed through a double-blind peer review process. We welcome your submissions. If you have questions about a potential submission, please contact

    Ashish Malik at ashish.malik@newcastle.edu.au, Ralf Bebenroth at rbeben@rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp, Satish Kumar at skumar.dms@mnit.ac.in or Alfred Presbitero at alfred.presbitero@deakin.edu.au.


    Ford, J.D., Ford, L.W. & Amelio, A.D. (2008). Resistance to change: The rest of the story, Academy of Management Review, 33(2), 362-377.

    Irwin, H. (2020). Communicating with Asia: Understanding people and customs. Routledge.

    Klitmøller, A., Schneider, S. C., & Jonsen, K. (2015). Speaking of global virtual teams: language differences, social categorisation and media choice. Personnel Review, 44(2), 270-285.

    Lauring, J., & Klitmøller, A. (2015). Corporate language-based communication avoidance in MNCs: A multi-sited ethnography approach. Journal of World Business, 50(1), 46-55.

    Lohtia, R., Bello, D. C., Yamada, T., & Gilliland, D. I. (2005). The role of commitment in foreign–Japanese relationships: Mediating performance for foreign sellers in Japan. Journal of Business Research, 58(8), 1009-1018.

    Lynn, L. H. (2006). US research on Asian business: A flawed model. Asian Business & Management, 5(1), 37-51.

    Nickerson, C. (2005). English as a lingua franca in international business contexts. English for Specific Purposes, 24, 367-380.

    Peltokorpi, V. (2015). Corporate language proficiency and reverse knowledge transfer in multinational corporations: Interactive effects of communication media richness and commitment to headquarters. Journal of International Management, 21(1), 49-62.

    Presbitero, A. (2021). Communication accommodation within global virtual team: The influence of cultural intelligence and the impact on interpersonal process effectiveness. Journal of International Management27(1), 100809.

    Presbitero, A., & Attar, H. (2018). Intercultural communication effectiveness, cultural intelligence and knowledge sharing: Extending anxiety-uncertainty management theory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations67, 35-43.

    Schmidt, W. V., Conaway, R. N., Easton, S. S., & Wardrope, W. J. (2007). Communicating globally: Intercultural communication and international business. Sage Publications.

    Sekiguchi, T., Jintae Froese, F., & Iguchi, C. (2016). International human resource management of Japanese multinational corporations: Challenges and future directions. Asian Business & Management, 15(2), 83-109.

    Sharma, P., Tam, J., & Wu, Z. (2018). Challenges and opportunities for services marketers in a culturally diverse global marketplace. Journal of Services Marketing, 32(5), 521-529.

    Tenzer, H., Terjesen, S., & Harzing, A. W. (2017). Language in international business: A review and agenda for future research. Management International Review, 57(6), 815-854.

    Ulijn, J. M., & Kumar, R. (2000). Technical communication in a multicultural world: How to make it an asset in managing international business, lessons from Europe and Asia for the 21st century. In Managing global communication in science and technology (pp. 319-348).

    Vaara, E., Tienari, J., Piekkari, R., & Säntti, R. (2005). Language and the circuits of power in a merging multinational corporation. Journal of Management Studies, 42(3), 595-623.

    Yamao, S., & Sekiguchi, T. (2015). Employee commitment to corporate globalisation: The role of English language proficiency and human resource practices. Journal of World Business, 50(1), 168-179.

    Alfred Presbitero, PhD
    Deakin Business School
    Deakin University
    Melbourne, Australia